Today I shall buy my lottery ticket with the usual resigned shrug of the shoulders yet a glimmer of hope in my heart. They say the lottery is a tax on the stupid but that’s not true. the lottery is a tax on hope and let’s face it, hope is all most of us have. I hear people say if I buy ten tickets I have ten times the chance of winning, not so alas. The chances of any one of your tickets winning is basically zero and ten times zero is zero. another time I bought a £10 scratchcard, that I thought was £1. My face lost all colour as I shoved my tenner back in my pocket I was about to proffer for the card, a copy of Private Eye and a mars bar. I took my debit card out and the lovely assistant asked if I had meant to purchase a £10 card and I managed to squeak “iss” rather than admit a mistake.
The story has a happy ending I got my tenner back or I’d be still crying about it to this day. The ticket looked long, tempting and a bargain for a quid and damn my eyesight. The card stated I had a 1 in 2.25 of winning but that isn’t quite true. What I actually had was a 1 in 2.25 of getting my money back, which isn’t the same as winning. Obviously if the National Lottery want to pay me £££Kerching I can always edit this, I am broad-minded and flexible when it comes to £££Kerching. let’s look at what happened in the last draw you were sold a jackpot of over £33 million, what happened? Two people won £1 million in the raffle and the next prize down? Two people won £2,702.90. Then 8 people won £2190.40. UK winners only stated but hardly what you thought you were playing for. always best assume the table is rigged because it usually is, and not in our favour.
As I might have mentioned, strange things have happened to me since I started writing this blog and Sing Hosanna I won £131 millon smackeroonies. Naturally I was overjoyed and gathered the family, Mrs40, Ms40minor, Mr40minor and Master.40 which sort of happens when you have 2.4 children. Family, I said affectionately, our boat has come in and because the last time I applied the economy of a state to a household and it worked out so well, I’m going to do it again. This family, I announced grandly, will Do The Right Thing and run a surplus, I read it in the Daily Mail and those guys know what they’re talking about, it has to be true. We shall live on out previous income only so put aside your dreams of fripperies, we must have a rainy day fund in case of tough times ahead plus I shall make profits.
Never mind I’ll be in the same house I always was, that my children have had their boundaries unbound or just the simple fact there is so much good I could do with that money. Yet, it seems Kensington Council has the same mindset as me. It decided that making a profit was more important than its duties. This from The Times(£)
Despite Mr Paget-Brown saying yesterday that there was a “real housing crisis” in his borough and elsewhere, Kensington and Chelsea spent less than £40 million on local authority housing last year despite receiving £55 million in rent, its accounts show. The year before the council collected £8.2 million more in rent and other charges than it spent on housing.
Such austerity shielded Kensington and Chelsea from losses in other areas, such as the costs of putting on an annual opera festival. The festival, which last night included a performance of Don Giovanni , has picnic hampers for sale at £265. It takes place in Holland Park, a green space whose neighbours include some of the country’s richest people, such as David Beckham.
Oh dear. The outsourced cost of the Grenfell Towers preferred bidder was £1.6 million more than the eventual bid accepted, no sprinkler system and no fire-proof panels, could it get any worse for Kensington and Chelsea Council? Very much worse it would seem.
In 2015-16 the council lost £1.5 million on staffing and operating the opera, its accounts show. In 2014-15 it lost £1 million. Since October last year the opera has been an independent charity.
Is your jaw on the floor yet? All this just to turn a profit, using a social housing surplus to fund an opera deficit. I want to be sure your jaw is where it should be because the article then goes on to cite the extra cost of fireproof panels… £5,000. I put that in bold just in case you thought it was a typo and I’d missed a few noughts out. This from a council whose recent acquisitions include Nymphs in a Landscape, a painting bought for £50,000 in 2013-14, and Walking Man, a statue in Holland Park bought for £60,000. Call me a philistine if you will but I think a whole shedload of priorities have got lost along the way.
I am the first to agree that councils must spend responsibly but does litany of mistaken judgement sound like being responsible to you? Me neither. Blame should only shift upwards and it is the notion that the state should make a profit that makes matters even worse. The narrative that the state should run a surplus or even balance its expenditure to taxation is known as an “innocent fraud”. It’s a story you are told just in case you get ideas above your station about the public purse somehow being for your benefit, it’s always described as “other people’s money”, like you have no right to it.
The public purse is not taxpayers money it is the property of us all. The government does not have to borrow or tax for that money to be there. The government spends and the private sector weaves its magic, creating wealth and value for us all, especially themselves of course, but why wouldn’t they? I have no gripe about but let’s not lose track of what we’re supposed to be doing, building a great nation.
It will come as no surprise to some this is the first of a seven part series, no spoilers!
Apology 1. I do not post ads on this site and hope I’ve sorted it out now, please report any reoccurrence of this.
Apology 2.of The Times is a truly great reporter and I have outrageously, I hope fairly, quoted his work which I very much admire.